Len Lye – “A COlour Box” (1932″

“The first of Lye’s ‘direct films’ to receive a public screening. Promoted by Sidney Bernstein’s Granada chain of cinemas, it eventually came to be seen “by a larger public than any experimental film before it, and most since” (as the film historian David Curtis has pointed out). Its soundtrack is a beguine – a dance popular in France during the 1930s. A Colour Box won a Medal of Honour at the 1935 International Cinema Festival in Brussels. Having no suitable category in which to award the film, the jury simply invented a new one.”

“As its title suggests, A Colour Box was also notable for being a colour film. Lye used the process of Dufaycolor at a time when colour film was still in an experimental phase. This gave the film a novelty value when first shown. A Colour Box eventually secured quite a wide theatrical release and became popular with both general audiences and critics. Because it was colourful and dynamic, with a catchy musical score, it was more accessible than many abstract films of the period.”


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